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Moot Court Team Claims Texas Tech Law's 26th National Championship

Third-year students tackle energy and sustainability issues.

Written by Cory Chandler

John McIntyre of Canadian, Tanner Hartnett of Dallas, Neal Spradlin of Lavon and adjunct professor Robert Sherwin (’01).

A team of Texas Tech University School of Law students won the Third Annual National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition in Morgantown, W.Va. to claim the law school’s 26th national championship.

In Texas Tech Law’s first trip to the tournament, hosted by West Virginia University College of Law, third-year students Tanner Hartnett of Dallas, John McIntyre of Canadian and Neal Spradlin of Lavon tested their brief-writing and oral advocacy skills against 23 other teams. To best their competition, they had to navigate complex and cutting-edge issues related to hydraulic fracturing.

The team unanimously defeated Florida State University College of Law in the final round, which was argued before one federal circuit court judge, two federal district court judges, the former Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court, and the head of the appellate section in the Washington, D.C., office of Jones Day.

“This win was significant in two respects – not only is it an affirmation of our award-winning advocacy program, but it also shows our strength in the particular subject matter of natural resource law,” said adjunct professor Robert Sherwin, who coached the team along with professor Chris Kulander and adjunct professor Rickie Redman.

“The final-round panel was one of the most distinguished I’ve ever seen at any moot court competition,” Sherwin continued. “Most lawyers will go their entire careers without appearing before a group like that. For our students to be able to argue their case and hear those judges’ critiques and compliments is a real testament to the value of law school advocacy competitions.”

Professor Brie Sherwin, Texas Tech Law alumna Laura Pratt and the Environmental Law Moot Court Team of second-year students Cara Brewer and Stephen Higdon helped prepare the team in practice rounds.

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